ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Fitting and Turning: “Why I picked it”

We spoke to:

Name: Clinton Larking

Current Job:  Fitter and turner in a rural engineering business

Studied: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade at TAFE NSW

First up, what’s fitting and what’s turning?

So a fitter and turner fits, assembles, grinds and shapes metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment. Turning is making the individual parts and fitting is putting it all together. 

What kind of things do you work on?

I work on the servicing and repair of lifting equipment, agricultural equipment and machining of equipment for the service industries like mining and farming. You could also work in the defence industry and auto industries – so it could be a very varied role depending on where you work.

Why did you pick it?

I find that turning and fitting is mentally challenging and creates good job satisfaction. I love the precision of it. 

Mechanical fitting is a good trade, there is a huge variety of equipment and you need to tear it apart, remember how to assemble it, know how it works, find faults and repair it – that kind of thing.

My friend works at a big food brand. Most days he was based in their workshop, working on their machines and then from time to time he’d get called out to the factory floor to repair a machine. Then on other occasions there would be a large project, like the installation of a whole new production line, this may go for several weeks. Another friend works in the steel industry maintaining hydraulic equipment, conveyors, gearboxes, pumps – that kind of thing.

I actually got into uni to do engineering but decided I wanted to do a trade instead.

How do you get into it?

My advice to students is that I think if you find a good employer, than you’re set.  So make sure you pick the right place to work during your apprenticeship because you don’t want to become a glorified part changer and oil remover. Any place with its own machine shop of sorts (the more in it the better) will be a good place to work.

To be qualified you’ll need to do your Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade and have completed your apprenticeship. Also recommended is: 

  • Completion of your HSC/VCE/or equivalent
  • Strong understanding of Mathematics and English
  • Complete Hydraulics, Pneumatics and Fluid Power course
  • Relevant pre-apprenticeship such Certificate II in Engineering Studies or Certificate II in Engineering Pathway Diploma of Engineering Technology

Watch the full video for all the advice and some BTS…

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